Whilst some of the group were finishing off their resources, we got to explore and experiment with ‘PurpleMash’.

We were told that PurpleMash had plenty of resources that spread over a range of topics, however after exploring the site for myself, I think this was a bit of an understatement!! PurpleMash is like a little resource genie for teachers, there are so many resources and different things to create, based around so many different topics!!

Australia and Purple Mash

One thing that caught my eye on PurpleMash was the amount of resources based around different countries. One activity that I have seen children complete several times, is to create a postcard. Children often are given a piece of paper with the outlines of where to write the address and put the stamp, and are asked to draw their own picture. However there was a program on PurpleMash which allowed children to create their own postcard.  The children would have been able to choose a picture they liked, as well as writing the postcard on the computer. There were useful hints and tips about the types of things that people tend to write on a postcard. The children would have been able to choose different colours and fonts for their writing, and also vary the size of the writing. There were over 20 different types of postcards from different places that children could use. I have inserted a screen shot of an example of the Australian postcard, as unfortunately I could not embed my finished piece, due to a problem with edublogs.

On PurpleMash there are areas related to Numeracy (patterns and shapes), Literacy (authors), Science (plants), History (famous people), Geography (London) , R.E (Diwali), PSHE (feelings and emotions), and lots of other curriculum subjects. There are resources related to dinosaurs, aliens, space, cooking.. This website will be such a valuable resource in the future!! I am really looking forward to using PurpleMash in my next placement, and in my future teaching career. 

Further Research:

I decided to search the internet for opinions on PurpleMash and stumbled upon this YouTube video. The description on the YouTube video states: “Purple Mash is an award-winning website for primary school children. It is a creative space where children can apply and enhance their knowledge”.

Further Reading:

After a conversation with some of the group, I decided to do my further reading based around iPads in the classroom. I came across an article about ‘How the iPad Can Transform the Classroom‘. This article discusses some of the positive factor of having iPads in a classroom.

One quote I particularly liked in this article was; “Students with iPads have just as much access to knowledge as the teacher, and maybe more”… Students can use iPads for research and other academic purposes; such as videoing science experiments or recording a dance sequence in PE. The article also discusses the problem of children playing games on the iPads, rather than completing their work. However the article points out that if the children are engaged in their learning/current activity, they should not feel the need to play games on the iPad. Another point mentioned in the article related to playing games was that teachers have control of what apps and programs are downloaded onto the iPad. Teachers can download academic games, as well as their chosen apps. Therefore children can learn through playing different types of games. ipad-transforming

Another article found is called ’17 Pros and Cons of Using iPads in the Classroom’
Some of the pros mentioned in this article include (that I haven’t considered before);
– The device is lightweight and portable, and can therefore be easier to transport than lots of books etc.
– User friendly with children with SEN and additional learning needs. There are cognitive and communication apps available to help with children’s development.
– Battery life on the iPads can last a whole school day at least!! And therefore if they are fully charged before they are needed, there is a slim chance of having an issue.
– Students love using the iPads, and find them easy and simple to use and navigate.

ipadThere were also several cons in the article! I have chosen to include some different cons that would not normally be considered;
– The iPads do not support Flash, which is often what school based websites use to display their content.
– The iPads can be distracting, not just through games, but children are so engrossed in what they are doing on the iPad, they may miss key information from the teacher.
– Typing on the iPads can be frustrating and can lead to mistakes; which would be a problem if the iPad was being used for assessment purposes.
– Sharing across the school; often schools will not be able to purchase enough iPads to be used by all classes at the same time. Therefore iPads may need to be booked or reserved, which can lead to changes in the timetable needing to be made.

The Guardian had an interesting article related to iPads called; An Apple for the teachers: are iPads the future in class? 
The article suggests several pros and cons for using the iPads in a classroom, many are similar to the points already made in the explainarticle mentioned above. This article points out that it is crucial for teachers to be confident with the technology, before they allow the children to use it in their classroom; which I would fully support, it is always said that teachers need to have a sound subject knowledge when teaching; and why should using an iPad be any different?
The article offers a list of 10 Creative Apps; iMovie, Garage Band, Creative Book Builder, Skitch, Strip Design, Explain Everything. Brushes, Video Scribe, SonicPics, I Can Animate. All of these apps can be used with children ages ranging from 3-11.

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